Rewind 2020: Prasad Shejale dissects the year in Digital

As we are set to bid adieu to 2020 – a year of major disruptions, global shutdowns, economic rollercoaster due to COVID-19 – there are several lessons and takeaways from this momentous year. Adgully brings its annual review of the year gone by, wherein industry experts analyse the most significant developments and trends of the year and their implications on the coming year as well.

Prasad Shejale, Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital, looks back at all the major developments in Digital during 2020, the massive digital transformation that took place, rise in new social platforms, influencer marketing. He also crystal gazes into 2021 and reveals how AI, Chatbots, conversational banners, Voice search will dominate in the coming year.

Developments & disruptions

Due to the pandemic, there was a huge spike in digital adoption and consumption. For some sectors, digital transformation emerged really well while many companies adopted the digital route in light of the pandemic. This is what helped them identify their target audience and connect with them. It was great learning for everyone to give importance to online markets or digital as a sustainable medium to survive and grow. As people adapted to new ways, there was a significant change in their online behaviour too. 

The way we work, shop, learn, communicate, entertain, consume news and information, and many more aspects have changed. To understand this change, the brands needed to implement tools to track and decipher new customers.

We saw a rise in new social platforms in the market. The affordable data rates and the consequent surge in the use of data-based products and services coupled with the ban on certain apps accelerated the emergence as well as usage of multiple new apps, both local as well as international. The most important learning from this year is definitely the ability to adapt and embrace change. Only the ones who can accept the changing situations and adapt quickly with it while devising new ways to function in the changing environment can keep up their growth journey and survive all the odds.

The year in Digital

With the pandemic, the global e-commerce sales growth jumped up significantly in the initial 3 months to the numbers that we would have been witnessing in the next 3 years or so. Even the number of users adapting to the digital ways has jumped to a significant high that wasn’t expected for at least the next 3-5 years. Various reports suggest that in spite of the slowing economy, the digital segment has seen a growth of around 20-27 per cent by November 2020. This is great, and we’ll only see it growing further up in the future.

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence are set to transform the digital marketing industry significantly as it will bring marketers and consumers on the same page.

Influencer marketing grew steadily and significantly. It has enabled brands to increase awareness and target new audiences. In 2021, you will be hard-pressed to find a brand that does not use influencers in their marketing campaigns. This is a great way to get noticed by thousands or even millions of new consumers in an organic way.

More and more users are using ad-blocking options. Google is also coming up with a new Chrome web browser with native ad-blockers. This will be a challenge for marketers, and they will need to figure out unique ways to evade this. But I am sure we will soon have a solution for this too, and brands can continue reaping the benefits of digital in an improved way.

We will see a lot of innovations and unique use cases. While the growth will keep up, I feel, we will also see an even larger focus on an integrated approach as well as personalisation to cater to a multitude of consumer needs and expectations to deliver what they want, seamlessly.

Looking ahead at 2021

The major shift towards digitisation will continue in 2021 as well. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will also adopt the digital route to attract the masses. Multiple new technologies are on their way to ease the marketers and businesses efforts in the next year. AI, Chatbots, conversational banners, Voice search will dominate in 2021. Omnichannel marketing has been vital for a lot of businesses to sustain and, I am sure, it will continue to make an impact in the future too. The key segment will be CDP/ CIP technology, which is a major shift considering the reliability on cookie-based data. CDP technology is a breakthrough and will disrupt the market with its new ways of online marketing. Emails will be more personalised, and interactive content will be mainstream. Similarly, looking at the way the multi-lingual approach is progressing, we will definitely see more and more of vernacular, and it will soon become mainstream for a lot of brands.

If we look at the way digital has grown and progressed this year, and the growth numbers that were only expected in the coming 3-5 years, it won’t be too long now that we will see digital taking over other channels and capturing the largest market share.


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